Friday, 8 October 2021

8 October 2021 Education secretary announces new white paper in education

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference this week, the education secretary committed to a new white paper in education in the new year

It seems it will include

- plans to tackle innumeracy and illiteracy

- a deep dive, by Ofsted, to look at good practice in tackling absenteeism 

- looking at ways to embed technology into the education process

- an intention for all schools to become part of a multi-academy trust

- a commitment to a review of teacher training 

Friday, 17 September 2021

17 September 2021 Ofsted to increase the number of academy trust evaluations

Ofsted will increase the number of academy trust evaluations, with smaller and specialist chains being eligible for visits

New guidance on the trust summary evaluations indicate that they will mirror the education framework and focus on 'the quality of education as seen through the curriculum'

It also says that smaller and specialist MATs, not just those that may be a cause for concern, will now get visits

Ofsted is planning 12 trust summary evaluations in the Spring term and will confirm future evaluations in due course; it visits a number of schools within the trust before discussing its findings with leaders and publishing a letter

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

20 July 2021 NGA publishes report on the development of MAT central leadership teams

The National Governance Association (NGA) has published a report on the development of central leadership teams in MATs

Based on detailed interviews with 13 MATs, and complemented by an online review of a further 88 MATs, it concluded that 

- central leadership teams are emerging as powerful drivers for realising many benefits of trust wide collaboration, including bringing services in-house, employing individuals with specialist expertise and centralising functions

- central team power and influence can contribute to tensions between individual school expression and trust control and therefore discussions about the central team should consider these tensions, seek to resolve them and include engagement with key stakeholders at local level

- governance practice in relation to designing and approving central team structures is inconsistent - there remains a lack of sector-wide knowledge and confidence around the issue of central teams which does provide an opportunity for trust boards to further drive improvement in their trusts

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

6 July 2021 Ofsted updates inspection handbook in readiness for September

Ofsted has made a number of changes to the handbook for when inspections return in September:

- inspectors will look at how the deployment of tutors supports the aims of the school curriculum

- schools without adequate processes to deal with sexual abuse are likely to be considered 'ineffective' with an inadequate leadership and management judgement

- schools are expected to put in place a whole-school approach towards sexual harassment, ensure that children are taught about safeguarding risks and supported to understand what constitutes a healthy relationship

- during inspections, Ofsted will consider external data, but will be mindful of the age of this data, especially around statutory assessment and qualifications

- teacher-assessed grades from 2020 and 2021 will not be used to assess curriculum impact

- leaders must provide support for staff teaching outside their main areas of expertise

- the inspection window may be extended by up to six terms

- Ofsted will report where a school fails to comply with the 'Baker clause' regarding careers guidance and consider how it affects their grade

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

22 June 2021 Education Committee's report highlights how disadvantaged White British pupils persistently underperform

The Parliamentary Education Committee report (The forgotten: how White working-class pupils have been let down, and how to change it) highlights how White British pupils eligible for free school meals persistently underperform compared with peers in other ethnic groups, from early years to higher education

It says that the solutions to this underperformance are

Funding to be tailor made at a local level to level up educational opportunity

Support parental engagement and tackle multi-generational disadvantage

Ensure the value of vocational training and apprenticeship options whilst boosting access to higher education

Attract good teachers to challenging areas

Find a better way to talk about racial disparities

Monday, 14 June 2021

11 June 2021 Government announces first set of measures under education recovery programme

The government has announced the first set of measures under its education recovery programme; they include

- Randstad is the provider for year 2 of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP)

- £218million for the NTP, on top of £215million planned for the current academic year

- £579million to develop local tutoring provision using new or existing staff

- £222million to extend the existing 16 to 19 tutoring programnme

- NTP will be given a target of 65% for getting tuition to pupils eligible for the pupil premium, with a focus towards areas with lowest proportions of good and outstanding schools

- Government to review the time spent in schools, with findings being set out later in the year

Friday, 21 May 2021

21 May 2021 Government launches Trust Capacity Fund for 2021-22

The DfE has launched the Trust Capacity Fund for the 2021-22 financial year which will award up to £24m to help trusts develop their capacity to grow.  It has a focus on supporting strong trusts, and strong schools forming trusts, to take on underperforming schools in areas of higher need

It is part of the government's vision, announced recently, for all schools to be part of a family of schools in strong academy trusts

There are two strands - under strand A, trusts can get up to £310K to take on schools in 118 areas whilst strand B offers up to £100K for schools elsewhere in the country

Additionally, and also part of its academy trust vision, the government has named the first seven faith school trusts, including five Catholic trusts and two Church of England ones

Church schools not taking part in this pilot can still join, or set up a trust, but the DfE advises that they speak to their diocese and regional school commissioner first